Grevillea synapheae 'Picasso' (Catkin Grevillea) - A small spreading shrub that grows to 4 feet tall by 5 feet wide with leathery flat dark green leaves that are long and narrow near the base and broaden then shallowly divide into three apexes like a trident. The fragrant cream-white flowers, which can appear from late winter until mid-spring are in axillary or terminal long tight racemes. This species has a lignotuberous underground trunk.
Plant in a well-drained soil in full to part coastal sun and part day sun in hotter inland locations. Irrigate occasionally to infrequently. Hardy to moderate frosts and responds well to pruning but seems sensitive to heavy soils. A beautiful and unusual grevillea but one that needs excellent drainage, otherwise is prone to root rots.
Grevillea synapheae is endemic to sandy soils in Western Australia. The genus name Grevillea honors Charles Francis Greville (1749-1809), a patron of botany, a very close friend of Sir Joseph Banks, and president of the Royal Society of London. The specific epithet 'synapheae' is in reference to this plant's perceived similarity to the genus Synaphea, another Proteaceous genera from Western Australia. This form was selected for its attractive new red foliage and flowers by the University of California Santa Cruz Arboretum Koala Blooms Australian Plant Introduction Program and was released for sale in 2008 under the cultivar name 'Picasso'. Its problem with sensitivity to root pathogens led us to discontinue production of this plant in 2014.
Information about Grevillea synapheae 'Picasso' displayed on this page is based on our research about it conducted in our library and gathered from reliable online sources. We include observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well as how the crops have performed in containers in our own nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others about this plant when we feel it adds information and particularly welcome hearing from anyone who has any additional cultural recommendations that would aid others in growing it.